Biden Administration’s Move to Expand Oil and Gas Leasing Conflicts With Their Climate Goals

On Friday, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced that it will resume onshore oil and gas leases on federal land and increase royalty rates for new competitive leases from 12.5% to 18.75%. In response to this news Evergreen Action Executive Director Jamal Raad released the following statement: 

“President Biden campaigned and won on a promise to end new oil and gas leasing–and while it’s encouraging that BLM has reduced the originally nominated acreage by 80%–the science is clear: if we want to achieve our collective goal of limiting warming to 1.5C, there can be no new oil, gas, or coal projects developed anywhere across the globe. This includes U.S. public lands.

“Amidst Vladimir Putin’s fossil-fueled war and skyrocketing gas prices, the fact is, leasing more public lands is not the solution. BLM’s announcement will do nothing to reduce prices in the short term, or for the volatility of oil and gas markets in the long term. Instead, it will continue a long legacy of subjecting Americans, particularly those that live in frontline communities, to harmful air and water pollution. To achieve real energy security, we must accelerate America’s transition to clean energy. Strong climate investments like those in the House-passed reconciliation bill will get us back on track to fight the climate crisis, lower energy costs for consumers, and provide long-term reliability in the energy market. President Biden and his administration must end new leasing sales once and for all, and supercharge America’s pathway to 100% clean electricity."